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Cheer: Our Holiday Wishlist No matter how hard you try to opt out of the conspicuous consumption of the holiday season, your relatives, friends, and Secret Santas are unlikely to stop showering you with generous gifts destined for the landfill. So this year, we’re evading the awkwardness of unwrapping another ill-fitting sweater or ill-considered trinket by straight-up asking for stuff we really, really want. Presenting our own holiday wishlist for GOOD revelers who care where their presents came from. These are GOOD gifts tailored to the sometimes-scrappy sustainable life—our curated items are eco, innovative, charity-minded, or just plain charming. This year, we want to lock up our snacking game with a portable bento box, then snap up a cookbook that helps us bail out indie bookstores. Click through the slideshows to view the 50 items we’d love to see under our own holiday-appropriate plant, foot covering, or light source this season. Illustrations by Liz Mamont

Everything I know about Spray Paint! This post contains affiliate links {just keeping it real folks}. I get quite a few questions about spray paint, and I thought the most useful way for all of my readers would be to answer those questions publicly. So here it goes. Why do you use spray paint!?! Sidenote: If I had a super nice paint sprayer…I would definitely try using gallon paint, but brushing paint onto projects is long in my past. It is “thrifty-er” (is that even a word? What brands do you suggest? I love several brands of spray paint. I use Krylon at times too, sometimes the brand that I use is solely determined by the color that I’m looking for. Have I used other brands? But, you have to have a “play it by ear” attitude when dealing with other brands. What sheen of spray paint should I buy? This depends on what I’m spray painting. I’ve had a lot of people wonder if their project is going to look too shiny when they get done. Do you always prime your projects? Why do some colors cover better than others? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

How to Organize Your Beauty Products Ditch the clutter and save money by figuring out which beauty products you actually use, and which are taking up space. Getting Organized A version of this article originally appeared on Raise your hand if you have drawers, baskets, and cabinets filled with beauty products you don't use. We thought so. A cluttered beauty drawer might not seem like a big deal, and it might seem to have nothing at all to do with your finances. If it seems ridiculous to you, we agree. The Value of a Smart Beauty Routine Amazing beauty care isn't all about price; it’s often more about value, which is a combination of price and the number of times you’ll actually wear or use the item. To spend less on beauty while still maintaining your look, start making the smartest possible choices, which requires knowing what you love, what you’ll use, and what looks good on you.

Bacon and Cheese Muffins! Pantry Makeover I'm so excited to finally have one of the messiest spaces in our house... by FAR totally organized! The Pantry! Believe ME... we were thrilled to even HAVE a pantry in this house (being that the last 3 houses we had lived in didn't even have one) but overtime we had let it get really out of control. Case and So with a little creativity, and a LOT of help from IKEA and our local thrift stores, we finally got this space in tip-top, extraordinarily organized condition... and here's how we did it! I started at the bottom, priming away... realized how SMALL and cramped this space was, and gave up. ha. It took Cason finally pulling out EVERYTHING we had in there, to get my booty into gear, again. I found these 3ft pieces of trim at Joann's Fabric on clearance and thought they would be a subtle, great way to jazz up the shelf fronts a bit. After about 3 coats of primer, we used some wood glue and adhered the trim on the fronts of all the shelves. the shelves and molding semi-gloss white. eh. no.

Homemade Crispy Potato Tots (Tater Tots) Homemade Crispy Potato Tots (Tater Tots) I went to a Sonic Drive In for the first time a few weeks ago and was surprised to see that they served tater tots. I just had to order some, and believe me I enjoyed every last tot. So when the recent issue of Cook’s Country arrived in the mail, this recipe was the first one I bookmarked. Serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even an afternoon snack. I added a dash of cayenne pepper because I like things spicy, but feel free to leave it out. Crunchy on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside. Ingredients: 1 cup water 2 1/4 teaspoons salt 2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 4 cups peanut oil or vegetable oil Directions: In a small bowl, whisk water and salt together until salt dissolves. Recipe Notes: If your food processor has a capacity of less than 11 cups, you’ll need to process the potatoes in two batches.

do stuff! & Ten minute no-sew recycled t-shirt bag! - StumbleUpon Tutorial time! I got a gig teaching a recycled t-shirt project at the library a few months ago, with a request for a recycled tee bag – the only bags I’d made from tees in the past had required sturdy sewing, and I didn’t want hand-sewing to be the only thing holding the bottom closed in a class version of the bags, so I started brainstorming about some kind of hand-sewing-friendly or no-sew bag idea…. and here’s what I came up with! The simplest version of these bags is great for smaller tees, or the more light-weight kind of girl-tees – just turn the bottom of the shirt into a drawstring and tie it closed! As you can see, even with a not huge tee, this will still leave a significant hole in the bottom of your bag, but for purposes like grocery shopping, this size hole shouldn’t really matter… But to make smaller holes, just make more than one of them! And now for the actual tutorial – for this one, with the step-by-step, I will be making the bottom with 3 holes. My finished Sonic bag!

DIY: Paint Stick Sunburst Mirror My friends, if there ever was a bandwagon, this carefree DIYer is jumping right on it. For months, I’ve seen fabulous versions of the sunburst mirror pop up all over the blogosphere. And for weeks now, with every stop in the paint department, I couldn’t help but notice how those paint stir sticks might just make a very cool version of this decorative favorite. I couldn’t figure out how to stack them nicely enough around the center to make it worth my effort, but that little road bump didn’t stop me from snagging more than my fair share of free stir sticks at a time, like 8 or 10, over the course of a month. How to Make a (Paint Stir Stick) Sunburst Mirror What You’ll Need: 46-50 paint stir sticks; wood base, 7” embroidery hoop, 7” circle mirror, gorilla glue or hot glue, paintbrush, Xacto knife, plastic spray paint (optional, and not necessary if you use a wood hoop), craft paints in various colors; picture hanger (not shown) Tools: miter saw. Paint your embroidery hoop.

DIY Vertical Herb Garden with a Shoe Organizer | greenUPGRADER - StumbleUpon by LiveOAK Staff on July 20, 2009 Confounded by vegetable digging cats and toiling in the vegetable patch, Instructables member pippa5 came up with this cool DIY vertical garden solution. In case you don't recognize it, she used an old closet shoe organizer. Meant to keep your shoes off the floor and save you some space, this new use saves some space by getting your veggies or herbs off the ground. It is similar to the reclaimed gutter vertical garden DIY we featured in April, but this one is even easier. Check out the DIY at Instructables About the Author: